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NSA Creating Sophisticated Graphs of Americans’ Social Connections, Can Identify Associates, Locations and More

In Archive, NSA, NSA Files, Surveillance on September 28, 2013 at 12:58 PM

SYANPSE-MAINWAY

09/28/2013

James Risen/Laura Poitras/NYTimes:

Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials.

The spy agency began allowing the analysis of phone call and e-mail logs in November 2010 to examine Americans’ networks of associations for foreign intelligence purposes after N.S.A. officials lifted restrictions on the practice, according to documents provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.

The policy shift was intended to help the agency “discover and track” connections between intelligence targets overseas and people in the United States, according to an N.S.A. memorandum from January 2011. The agency was authorized to conduct “large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communications metadata without having to check foreignness” of every e-mail address, phone number or other identifier, the document said. Because of concerns about infringing on the privacy of American citizens, the computer analysis of such data had previously been permitted only for foreigners.

The agency can augment the communications data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls and GPS location information, as well as property records and unspecified tax data, according to the documents. They do not indicate any restrictions on the use of such “enrichment” data, and several former senior Obama administration officials said the agency drew on it for both Americans and foreigners.

N.S.A. officials declined to say how many Americans have been caught up in the effort, including people involved in no wrongdoing. The documents do not describe what has resulted from the scrutiny, which links phone numbers and e-mails in a “contact chain” tied directly or indirectly to a person or organization overseas that is of foreign intelligence interest.

More…

Related Links:

MARINA: NSA Repository Stores Metadata of Millions of Innocent Web Users; Used to Build “Pattern-of-Life” Profiles

Membership Lists, Metadata, and Freedom of Association’s Specificity Requirement (Strandburg)

  1. Reblogged this on AntiTerrorAthiest and commented:
    Zionist controlled NSA, at work spending our tax dollars. Nice!!!

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  4. […] The NSA has been using the UK data to conduct so-called “pattern of life” or “contact-chaining” analyses, under which the agency can look up to three “hops” away from a target […]

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  6. […] capability to perform the same sort of analytic searches that the NSA currently performs with its Mainway database onsite; or the NSA would have to be able to make its own index of telco databases that would allow […]

  7. […] NSA Creating Sophisticated Graphs of Americans’ Social Connections, Can Identify Associates, Locat… MARINA: NSA Repository Stores Metadata of Millions of Innocent Web Users; Used to Build “Pattern-of-Life” Profiles […]

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